By: Erin Oswald
When a group of hog producers and supporters gather together, you can be sure of at least three things. There will always be incredible people, engaging conversation, and great food! There are of course other benefits to being a partner with the swine industry, but these three stuck out to me after attending this year’s Ribs and Bibs event.
These incredible people I mentioned aren’t just the hardworking pork producers and their families, but also Nebraska State Senators. Ribs and Bibs provided the opportunity to thank our Senators for their work and devotion to agriculture in the state as well get to know them personally and discuss additional topics with them. As a youth mentor, having the opportunity to speak with a Senator proves to be an incredibly valuable experience. Each senator with whom I had the privilege to converse showed a desire to see agriculture from my perspective and to know about my personal desire to see the industry grow. As a young member of the agricultural society, it is both rewarding and encouraging to have the support of local politicians. And speaking of young members in the agricultural community, this year’s Ribs and Bibs honored and rewarded a number of Nebraska FFA Chapters. Several outstanding youth attended to receive $1000 checks to fund programs and projects within their chapters. I speak for the entire attending audience when I say we are all extremely proud of the FFA chapters across the state that work to promote and grow agricultural education and interest!
Along with the engaging conversation with the Nebraska State Senators and FFA members in attendance, there is also the experience of talking with fellow producers as well as meeting new ones. My family and I had the opportunity to catch up with families we see only a few times a year. The excitement expressed by my parents was wonderful as they hugged and greeted friends and exchanged prospects for the upcoming year.
And last but not least, whenever pork lovers gather, there will be great food! This year’s Ribs and Bibs event was an exciting eating adventure. There were three separate stations containing a variety of tasty foods including ham and pulled pork sandwiches, barbeque ribs, and scrumptious tenderloin. Each station included side dishes as well, but needless to say, the pork rose above all the other food!
With a full stomach and anticipation for the upcoming year, I look forward to attending Ribs and Bibs in 2014.